The refraction chamber: Twitter as sphere and network

  • Bernhard Rieder University of Amsterdam
Keywords: Twitter, sampling, methodology, information diffusion, shared meaning, refraction, epistemology


In this paper, we outline a study of the Twitter microblogging platform through a sample of French users. We discuss sampling methodology and compare three “issues” taken from the collected set of tweets. Based on the empirical findings we make a case for extending the notion of “information diffusion” to take into account questions of meaning, values, and ideology. We propose the concept of “refraction” to take a step toward this end.

Author Biography

Bernhard Rieder, University of Amsterdam
Department of Media Studies Assistant Professor
How to Cite
Rieder, B. (2012). The refraction chamber: Twitter as sphere and network. First Monday, 17(11).